YouTube is chock-a-block with gaming content, it’s true.
But while there are plenty of Let’s Play channels and critics offering reviews of the latest releases, what about when you want a nostalgic voyage into the captivating (and occasionally bonkers) world of video games past?
That’s where these talented folk come in: flying the flag for the classics and cult oddities of the ’80s, ’90s and early noughties with searing retrospectives and fun commentary.
Stop Skeletons From Fighting
Serving up delightful retrospectives on PS1-era cult favourites (Bushido Blade! Jumping Flash!) as well as cuts from the GameBoy, NES and other nostalgic platforms, Derek Alexander’s take on the weird and wonderful games of yesteryear is consistently entertaining and interesting.
Delving into the sometimes forgotten gems of ages past, there are some terrific highlights – and his recent vid on obscure Resident Evil ports is essential viewing for fans.
As authorities on the history of the medium go, people don’t get much more compelling than this deliciously-voiced guide to gaming’s past.
Recent uploads of his ‘RetroAhoy’ series provide epic narrations on the stories behind Doom, Syndicate and Dizzy among others. But that’s not all. His feature-length documentary Nuclear Fruit is an almost Adam Curtis esque exploration of the Cold War’s influence on video games. And it’s available absolutely free.
Michael’s Retro Game Reviews
As the title implies, there’s an exhaustive library of excellent retro game reviews to be explored here, going back several years, and covering everything from beloved favourites to silly movie and TV tie-ins.
But the recent arrival of topical vlogs and a new short Let’s Play series tackling such classics as Sonic and Streets Of Rage, means that this channel is currently freshening things up with a fun new direction too. Its past, present and future is well worth your time.
George Weidman’s fascinating analysis of games – both high-profile and under the radar – often focuses on the latest releases and burning issues. But dig a little deeper, and there’s plenty of retro gold to be found.
Looking back at everything from Fatal Frame to Castlevania and the Metal Gear Solid series (something he knows an unbelievable amount about), his thought-provoking and distinctive insights help you view old favourites in an entirely new light.
This little-known but ever-excellent channel offers inspiring highlights from the most enthralling segments of old-school games through the ‘Great Levels’ series, while also including plenty of classic examples into discussion when debating such questions as ‘What makes a good boss battle?’
You’ll ‘ooh’ in recognition, and ‘aah’ when a compelling title you’d never heard of gets a shout-out.
Brilliantly edited, charismatically presented, and casting a light on the most bizarre 8 and 16-bit experiences ever made, if you’ve ever wanted to witness the insane Japanese game from hell or enter the shocking world of fast food sponsored platformers, this is the place for you.
Genuinely funny, JonTron turns some of the worst games in history into comic gold. And if you like Star Wars, the retrospective videos on pretty much every tie-in ever shipped will delight you.
Dig That Box Retro
Remember those freaky PlayStation adverts that used to give you nightmares as a child?
Dig That Box Retro does, and in rather alternative and unusual fashion, this is an entire channel dedicated to unearthing and sharing weird and wonderful old video game commercials, as well as such wonders as original console demos and footage from old-school trade shows.
VideoGaiden presenter, WOW retro columnist, and general funnyman gamer Rab Florence brings a uniquely surreal and satirical slant to the world of video games, as epitomised by his hilarious spoof ‘History Of Videogames’ saga.
Watch out for the freaky barbershop tribute to Ken Levine too.
Main image: JonTron via YouTube